But "it introduces a lot of uncertainty", says Wendy Cutler, a former USA trade official now at the Asia Society Policy Institute. As a presidential candidate, Trump had campaigned against NAFTA as a job-killing disaster that he said encouraged American companies to move factories to Mexico to exploit cheap labor. "And I think way more often than not, he makes a very persuasive case". But he ultimately stayed on until Trump chose to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
Now the position is open yet again, at a time when the communications team has been a source of frustration for many in the West Wing, including the chief of staff, with one official describing it as "the most derided and unprofessional" department in the White House.
Has President Donald Trump's romance with the Goldman Sachs crowd gone cold? In a statement, President Trump said, "Gary has been my chief economic adviser and did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again".
Trump, meanwhile, is losing Cohn during the ascendancy of Peter Navarro, whose thinking on trade policy is dominated by a kind of basic error that would get you flunked out of a freshman economics course.
The wall prototypes represent the signature promise of Trump's campaign: To build a "big, lovely wall" along the U.S. -Mexico border.
Vehicle tariffs would be a bigger deal than steel tariffs, and would naturally prompt a new round of retaliation from Europe. "We're not looking for a trade war".
"I worked in the private sector all my life, so I'm a believer in free markets, but not unbridled free markets", Mr. Liddell said. As the president continued, he said that maybe Cohn will come back to the administration someday, but he also snarked that the economic adviser is "not quite as strong on those tarriffs as we want".
Persuasive to like-minded Trump, perhaps, but not to many free-trade-loving Republicans.
Trump has hinted that he has accepted Navarro's position, since he can use the steel tariffs as a negotiating ploy to gain concessions from Canada and Mexico - two of the four largest steel exporters to the United States - on the renegotiation of the North America Free Trade Agreement.
"The biggest priority as a Congressman representing New Mexico is ensuring our local businesses are not adversely impacted by what the finalized package of tariffs includes and how it is applied", Pearce said.
US steel and aluminum producers - and their counterparts around the world - have been hammered by overproduction by China.